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burson new soloist headphone amp - Page 14

post #196 of 1167

Yes the Soloist does some things that the B22 does not.  And vice versa but I put more weight in what's there than what is missing.  For example, in a bass weight or body contest... the Soloist isn't in the running.  But for laser focus and clarity the B22 lags behind the Soloist.

 

That said, the real 'damn that's something' piece might be the Peak with a Sylvania Bad Boy.  While listening to my 'busy/separation' demo song the Peak was mind blowing.  It hasn't done that again since and I ran the Burson through a burn cycle last night so we'll see where they stand tonight.

 

After having lived with the HA-160D for so long I wouldn't have thought the Soloist was one not biased into class A very far, and two lacking in weight or body.  But there it is.  The case clearly has room to increase the bias to at least twice what it is now.  The 1W Peak running near hot and the 4W Soloist is cool.  One of them has a case that can sink heat and isn't taking advantage of it.

 

Having never heard a Schiit and obviously not heard the Mjolnir... I'm looking forward to that one too :D

post #197 of 1167

Consider me interested in your comparison of the Peak and Soloist. I really like the Soloist but I'm wondering if it's worth it to keep it and the Amphora at the same time when they sound so similar. At least with the soloist, I know I'll be covered if I ever want to get much harder to drive headphones. And I appreciate how the preamp turns off with headphones plugged in

 

but the Amphora has a much nicer to use stepped attenuator and a little less unnatural glare at around the 5 kHz range. so there's that.

 

If the Peak with the aftermarket tube has a much different presentation than the soloist and does a number of things better, then it'll be an amp I'll gladly put back on my wishlist for late 2012/ early 2013.

post #198 of 1167

Its also 2.5x the price ;)

post #199 of 1167

yyyuuuuup.

 

But we're all used to paying 2X or more for new items that offer small improvements. :P

 

What I'm wondering is whether, in your opinion, the Peak/ Soloist comparison is more of an even trade off with one being slightly better than the other in some categories and the two trading blows. Or if one is consistently better in virtually all areas than the other. That's what I'm looking forward to reading.

 

The soloist is new so there's not a lot of impressions out there. Your posts will be some of the first to compare it against more than one amp in the 1K and above price range. (I've done my own comparisons to the Amphora and will be hooking up the Lyr tonight)

post #200 of 1167

If the Soloist had more bass weight it would be over.  Soloist stays... search stops.

 

But, having not done an official comparison, the Peak though often described as bright or thin has not been either.  What it has been is incredibly driven and dynamic with great extension up and down.  Its like a 180 from the Liquid Fire which was simply flat in my opinion.  Now that drive and dynamic impact could easily be fatiguing over time at high volume.  Which might be where people thought it was bright when fatigue was a better word.

post #201 of 1167

If anyone wants the B22 you'd better pull the trigger fast.  The lack of subbass is starting to really annoy me.  The Soloist is starting to give me the impression that its fantastic for non beat focused music but for rock the dryness and lack of rumble isn't going to work long term for me.

 

6moons wrote...

As have all prior Bursons of my acquaintance, the Soloist makes superb bass. Perhaps that's the established recipe of high-bias fully discrete class A circuitry in action.

 

And I disagree.  Its neither high bias or superb in the bass department.  I'm going to run the Peak/Soloist A/B tonight and see where it really lies.  But I think Burson really blew it by having such a low class A bias.  That said, if you don't have an LCD you probably wouldn't notice since other cans don't be sub-bass effortlessly.

post #202 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

If anyone wants the B22 you'd better pull the trigger fast.  The lack of subbass is starting to really annoy me.  The Soloist is starting to give me the impression that its fantastic for non beat focused music but for rock the dryness and lack of rumble isn't going to work long term for me.

 

6moons wrote...

As have all prior Bursons of my acquaintance, the Soloist makes superb bass. Perhaps that's the established recipe of high-bias fully discrete class A circuitry in action.

 

And I disagree.  Its neither high bias or superb in the bass department.  I'm going to run the Peak/Soloist A/B tonight and see where it really lies.  But I think Burson really blew it by having such a low class A bias.  That said, if you don't have an LCD you probably wouldn't notice since other cans don't be sub-bass effortlessly.

 

 

Was you aware of this while a/b-ing it with the Beta?  

post #203 of 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

If anyone wants the B22 you'd better pull the trigger fast.  The lack of subbass is starting to really annoy me.  The Soloist is starting to give me the impression that its fantastic for non beat focused music but for rock the dryness and lack of rumble isn't going to work long term for me.

 

6moons wrote...

As have all prior Bursons of my acquaintance, the Soloist makes superb bass. Perhaps that's the established recipe of high-bias fully discrete class A circuitry in action.

 

And I disagree.  Its neither high bias or superb in the bass department.  I'm going to run the Peak/Soloist A/B tonight and see where it really lies.  But I think Burson really blew it by having such a low class A bias.  That said, if you don't have an LCD you probably wouldn't notice since other cans don't be sub-bass effortlessly.

 

Strange that you feel that way. Everything I have read about the Soloist and the 160 seem to suggest beat driven rhythmic music was it forte.

post #204 of 1167

I haven't had my HA-160D for a while but I'd agree it went deep.  The Soloist doesn't, or at least this one doesn't.  I noticed during the A/B but it got me with improved clarity and focus.  Now I'm beginning to think its was simply the lack of body and sub-bass that artificially enhanced those aspects.

 

Either way, the Soloist has to best the Peak to redo the A/B.  Otherwise it'll be the Peak and B22 that square off.  Assuming its not paid for by then ;)

post #205 of 1167

So now things are getting a little more complicated for me. I have put the HD800 and the Schiit Lyr into the mix (using the stock GE tube option).

 

The soloist and the HD800 is a slightly tizzy combination. That slight upper mids/ treble boost that is only barely noticeable on the LCD3 is a bit more clear on the HD800. The HD800’s naturally bright treble and the soloist add up to something that sounds a bit sibilant. Things like hand claps and cymbals sound just a bit dry. I’m going to try out the anax mod this weekend on the HD800 and see how it affects the sound and pairing with the amps.

 

the Lyr is closer to the Amphora in that is smoothes out that treble area a bit more. it's always hard to say if it’s smearing or losing detail but I don’t think it is losing anything. by chance, I found this one section in the song Buster Voodooo By Rodrigo y Gabriel. At the 1:04 mark, there’s some very  fast strumming and percussion that lasts for around 6 seconds. On the soloist and HD800, some of the subtleties of the sounds are masked by a dryer and more steely/piercing top end. on the other amps (or with another headphone on the soloist), the sound is a bit darker but it’s easier to hear the interplay of the two instruments together and other, quieter sounds in the mix. I first noticed this when I had the GS1000 and DAC1 and was comparing it to some stax. On a really bright combo, the section sounds almost one note and some of the tones are masked.

 

When it comes to bass impact with the HD800, the soloist is more forceful than both the Lyr and Amphora. The Lyr adds a bit more bass punch than the Amphora but it’s really slight. I think the soloist may be a bit more V shaped than I originally thought, now that I have another amp and headphone to compare against.

 

regarding volume, the Lyr is at the 10:30 position on the dial while the amphora and Burson (on med gain) are at the 1 or 1:30 positions for volume matching.

 

Regardless of which amp I use, the HD800 is clearly more treble happy than the LCD3 (no surprise there, of course). And while I think I prefer the slightly darker presentation of the LCD3, I once again find myself hooked on the incredibly tall and wide soundstage of the HD800. It makes instrument separation just that much more precise and the sound is addictive. And they are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time (>2 hours). So now I find myself wondering if I should stick with an amp that works better with the HD800. if that were the case, the soloist would probably not stay.

 

On a side note, the magnum reacts a bit differently to the Lyr compared to the HD800 and LCD3. With the magnum, the bass kick impact is much stronger on the Lyr than on the Amphora and maybe even on the soloist. I think the 100 Hz bump on the Grado driver is getting focused on and spotlit on the Lyr. the other headphones are more flat in the bass so I don’t notice this large a difference.


Edited by LCfiner - 7/21/12 at 7:33pm
post #206 of 1167

Well its official I the Soloist is going back/moving on to another home.

 

I ran it against the Apex Peak, unfair I know, and it got stomped.  Anyone surprised?  I am, most of the amps I've run through my comparisons in the last few months have shall we say not punched at their weight class ;)

 

The Burson in the end is a good solid choice for those that need power and prefer high clarity and a dry character at the expense of body and weight.  Add that its also a pre-amp, has multiple gain settings and a stepped and its a bargain IF weight and body aren't priorities.  I can imagine classical and jazz fans loving it.  But wouldn't look twice if you listen to dubstep all day :p

post #207 of 1167

Oh and tomorrow after its stabilized thermally I'll run the Peak against the B22 to see if I was having a bad ear day or if the Peak really does stomp the B22 as well.

post #208 of 1167

Interesting. I would definitely agree on the (slight) dryness and clarity of the soloist. I haven’t listened to enough high end amps to comment about bass weight or extension. 

 

Solude, would you say the Peak with that Sylvania tube has any obvious coloration? light or dark. I’ve read the Peak with the stock tube can be bright.

 

On my end, I added the anax mod on the HD800 and it helped reduce the brightness just a bit. they’re still a little hot on top and are unforgiving with some of the lesser recordings I have but they mesh better with the soloist than before. the difference between amps has been narrowed when considering treble hotness.

 

the nice surprise out of this is that the Lyr handles itself pretty well compared to the more expensive soloist and Amphora. there’s no immediate “well, this is clearly better” moment with any of the amps. It’s just small differences and shading here and there. 

 

As for the LCD3 and HD800, the treble on the HD800 can be rough at times but its strengths are enough (soundstage, comfort) that I think I’m leaning towards selling the LCD3 even though I prefer some things about it. I figure i can try a dedicated headphone to smooth out rough, old recordings; I can get an HD650 used for around 350 (or try out an HE-400). I would not need the detail of the LCD3 for that function.

 

gotta listen casually for several more days before I can pull a trigger on anything

post #209 of 1167

LC - try rolling some 60's 6DJ8 Amperex Bugle Boys in the Lyr. Something about these tubes just clicked with the HD800 for me. It added stark dynamics and bottom end weight, while presenting balanced mids and clear yet smooth treble. The BBs weren't exceptional tubes when heard through the LCD-2 and compared to tubes like the Lorenz Stuttgarts and Amperex Orange Globes. It took the HD800 to reveal its balance, imaging and transparency, exposing the other tubes as smothering details and as overly coloured in certain aspects.

post #210 of 1167

Thanks for the recommendation. they seem like reasonably priced tubes.

 

The next step I was going to take with the lyr - probably starting next week, was researching tube rolling impressions on here and make a list of tubes to try out. The Bugle Boys are on the list. :)

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